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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Sonnet Brown: BOTM for December, 2009

Sonnet Brown is head of the Federal Documents Department at the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans. She was selected to be a 2010 American Library Association Emerging Leader.

Sonnet received her M.L.I.S. (2008) from Texas Woman’s University and her B.A. in Classical Studies (2004) from Loyola University New Orleans. When she isn’t working with documents, she enjoys writing and exploring Second Life. She is currently a columnist with Legal Information Alert and will also be writing the Tech Watch column with Rebecca Blakeley. She is also working with UNO’s Digital Initiatives Librarian Keith Pickett to digitize U.S. Hearings from the 1960s-1980s. She promotes the project and the rest of her collection through the department’s Facebook, Twitter, and Blog.

As a member of Gen Y, Sonnet looks forward to a long career ahead of her. After all, she believes that “librarians are like vampires…they live forever!”

Aimee and James Quinn: bloggers of the month for August, 2009

James and Aimée Quinn are both librarians who share a love of cats, books, movies, coffee, dogs, exploring new places (especially libraries) and technology although James is much more tech savvy than Aimée. Both work with the Humane Societies to fight for animal rights. Aimée is a librarian at the University of New Mexico, Parish Memorial Library. She served on a variety of ALA committees, task forces, discussion groups, etc. related to government information, permanent public access to government information, rare & valuable government publications (yes they really do exist) and government literacy. Aimée is an assistant editor of the international journal, Government Information Quarterly.

After working in academic law libraries for over 25 years, James, along with Matthew Wright, co-founded the Library Underground. He now works with Chris Zammarelli (another of our guest bloggers!) to maintain the site. James is an anti-nuke/environmental activist who also serves as the list owner for an international anti-nuclear discussion group. These activities coupled with associating with librarians makes him a dangerous peacenik.

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth: BOTM for July, 2009

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth is the author of Spellbound Blog. A recent graduate of the University of Maryland’s iSchool Archives, Records and Information Management program, Jeanne comes to the field of Archival Science with over 18 years of experience designing relational databases, creating custom database software and participating in web based software development. She has brought her great interest in information visualization, structured data and helping individuals find what they are looking for to her studies, personal research and writing. She is interested in the ways that access to government information can be improved — especially ways that free structured government data can be reused, analyzed and visualized.

Jeanne currently holds a position as a Metadata Analyst and SEO Coordinator within the Interactive Technology division of Discovery Corporation. She divides her time between doing search engine optimization (SEO) for Discovery’s network websites and working on taxonomies and controlled vocabularies.

Archive-It gang: guest bloggers for June, 2009

Molly Bragg and Lori Donovan work at the Internet Archive‘s Archive-It web archiving service. Archive-it is used by over 100 libraries and organizations around the globe to harvest, preserve and access born digital content. The service began in 2005 as a way for memory institutions who lacked technical infrastructure to archive born digital information. Partners include U.S. State Archives, State Libraries, University Libraries, National libraries, federal institutions, museums, public libraries, non-profit organizations and individual researchers. The Archive-It website provides access to over 850 collections, over 900 million URLs and 81 tb of data all full text searchable and available to the public. For more information contact the Archive-It team at archive-it at archive.org.

Justin grimes: BOTM for May, 2009

Justin Grimes is a PhD student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and a Research Associate at the Center for Information Policy and E-Government. He holds a MLS degree from the University of Maryland as well as a BS in Integrated Science and Technology from Marshall University. His research interests include e-government, information policy, and information design.